Labour and employment: foreign firms in Singapore

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance fields a group of 'excellent lawyers', led by Valerie Kong and Kabir Singh, who are 'knowledgeable, very available and easy to reach' and are able to assist with a variety of issues ranging from transactional advice, regulatory issues, whistleblowing, and employment investigations. Corporate partner Kong is particularly active in relation to incentive packages and regularly assists corporate clients with the rollout of equity incentive schemes. Singh's practice focuses on contentious employment issues.

Practice head(s):

Valerie Kong; Kabir Singh

Testimonials

‘Excellent lawyers, friendly, knowledgeable, and very available and easy to reach.’

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's Singapore practice handles a wide range of cross-border mandates for large multinational clients. Areas of deep bench strength include employment matters arising out of M&A, joint ventures, and restructurings, including contentious issues such as investigations, which are handled through its alliance with local law firm Prolegis. The practice, led by Fatim Jumabhoy is also very active advising on multi-jurisdictional crisis and risk management and on the unique challenges arising out of Covid-19. Associate Rebecca Lim frequently works alongside Jumabhoy on all aspects of employment law.

Practice head(s):

Fatim Jumabhoy

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Lim

Linklaters

Global powerhouse Linklaters delivers 'exceptional strength in their employment practice across the countries' coupled with a 'responsive, thorough and sensible' team Laure De Panafieu, an expert who 'keeps her hand on the pulse'. The all-around practice offers strong support in the employment aspects of corporate transactions, investigations, and related disciplinary proceedings. The practice boasts a strong list of clients in the technology and fintech space. Managing associate Chaiyee Oh is recommended for trade issues, termination entitlements, employee incentive arrangements, and workplace investigations.

Practice head(s):

Laure de Panafieu

Other key lawyers:

Chaiyee Oh

Testimonials

‘Linklaters provides excellent Asia Pacific region-wide legal support with exceptional strength in their employment practice across the countries. The teams are responsive, thorough, and sensible in their delivery of advice and assistance.’

‘Laure de Panafieu stands out for her complete leadership shown, a partner who keeps her hand on the pulse, eager to understand the client’s needs and shows initiative in her engagement with us.’

Key clients

BP

Microsoft

RGE Group

Advent International

Natwest Markets plc

Schneider Electric

XTX Markets

Dymon Asia Capital

Wavecell

Sony Music

Goyard

Olympus Capital

Gfi Informatique SA

Tereos

Lesaffre APAC

Morgan Stanley

BlackRock

Navig8

Anglo American

BBC

Revolut

ResMed

Lombard International

MUFG

MoneyGram

Indorse

M&G Real Estate Asia Pte. Ltd

MKP Capital

Noble

Brookfield Asset Management

GAMA

Verlinvest

Suez

SWIFT

Bain & Company, Inc

Accuracy

Essilor

Sibelco

JO Hambro Capital Management Group

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Adecco

Work highlights

  • Represented Noble Group on a high value and complex litigation before the Singapore Court of Appeal, in relation to an appeal brought by its former Group CEO in relation to forfeited incentives and bonuses.
  • Advising the Navig8 Group, a fully integrated provider of shipping management services and the world’s largest independent pool and commercial management company, on various employment-related matters in Singapore.
  • Advising Olympus Capital on new employee incentive arrangements and employment agreements in connection with its investment in the Constant Energy Group.

Ashurst LLP

Ashurst LLP assists a variety of local and international clients on all aspects of employment law, with particular strength in the post-M&A integration, contract drafting, and employment terminations. The practice works closely alongside its network of global offices with contentious work undertaken through its alliance with local outfit, ADT Law. Senior associate Karen Mitra is the main point of contact. She is also noted for her expertise in the employment aspects of anti-bribery and corruption matters.

Practice head(s):

Karen Mitra

Key clients

Apollo Global Management

Barclays

McLaren

Visa, Inc

Kellogg’s

Rio Tinto

IHS Markit

Mitsui & Co.

The Silanna Group

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

National Australia Bank

Qantas

ResMed

Samsung

Mizuho Asia Partners

Doka Group

GAIN Capital

Pico Global Trading

Unisys Corporation

Sage Software

StubHub

Navitas

Westpac Banking Corporation

Toll Group

R.E.A. Holdings

Dover Corporation

Macquarie Capital

Exane BNP Paribas

First Derivatives plc

Klook

WeWork

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow, the team led by Kelvin Poa and Celeste Ang is praised for its ability to 'coordinate cross-jurisdictional matters easily and quite efficiently' and its specialisation 'in commercial, day-to-day employment issues' for multinational clients, and its ability to tap into a global network of offices. Poa is of note for cross-border employment contracts and their remuneration strategies, while on the contentious side, Ang represents employers in claims arising from termination/retrenchment, unfair dismissals, and those concerning business restructurings and reorganisations.

Practice head(s):

Kelvin Poa; Celeste Ang

Testimonials

‘The team has subject-matter experts who specialise in commercial, day-to-day employment issues, and a separate division that deals specifically with contentious employment matters. They have a good range of industries that they’ve dealt with, particularly the banking sector, and a wide reach to the other Baker offices in the world. They are able to coordinate cross-jurisdictional matters easily and quite efficiently.’

‘Very responsive to questions and very high technical excellence. I am always confident the advice is right and all possible angles have been considered.’

K&L Gates Straits Law LLC

Focused on representing employers in matters arising from the employment relationship with their employee, K&L Gates Straits Law LLC is also adept at supporting multinational clients in post-transaction workforce integration, employment contracts, compliance audits, and implementing critical response plans as a result of challenges faced by Covid-19. Christopher Tan is sought after by clients in the media, entertainment, technology, and engineering sectors to assist with a wide variety of employment-related aspects.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Tan

Key clients

Electronic Arts Asia Pacific

TripAdvisor Limited

Synamedia Asia Private Limited

World Wrestling Entertainment

Stepan Company

UGL Engineering Pte Ltd

Vulcan Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised a major online travel company on a workforce restructuring in Singapore and Korea, including the preparation of talking points for redundancy meetings, notices of termination, separation and release agreements and notifications to the Ministry of Manpower.
  • Advised a major network media company in relation to drafting of template employment contracts for different types of employment arrangements in Singapore.
  • Advising a video game company on all employment issues, functioning as their de facto in-house counsel in Southeast Asia.

Squire Patton Boggs

At Squire Patton Boggs, Julia Yeo is experienced in advising corporate and senior C-suite level clients on all aspects of the employment cycle. Drawing on her litigation background, she also counsels employers on disputes on the enforceability of restrictive covenants.

Practice head(s):

Julia Yeo